A series of fraudulent insurance claims is discovered after Dan Mathews and his officers learn that the "accidental" death of a migrant worker was actually a homicide.




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Episode cast overview:
John Ayres ...
Autopsy Physician
Robin Short ...
Hank Willis
Officer Garvey (as Joe Locke)
William Hughes ...
Mr. Banning
Effie Laird ...
Leo Needham ...
Carl Seward
Fritz Ford ...
Officer Petersen (as Fredrick Ford)
Ralph Parry


Hitchhiking migrant worker Ralph Parry is killed by a blow on the head, but a staged automobile crash makes the death appear accidental. When an autopsy of Parry's body reveals that the death was actually a homicide, Dan Mathews and his officers investigate further. They learn that several other migrant workers have recently died in similar "accidents" and that they all had life insurance claims paid to mysterious beneficiaries that got their mail at Hutkins' Country Store. Hutkins repeatedly attempts to divert suspicion toward ex-con Hank Willis, but Dan knows that Willis is not the guilty party. He sets a trap in order to prove that Hutkins is guilty of multiple murders to perpetrate insurance fraud. Written by Sam Spear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama




Release Date:

7 November 1955 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode is somewhat unique inasmuch as the patrol car used by Dan Mathews and Officer Garvey is a Ford with the warning lights mounted on the roof. The substantial majority of patrol cars used in this series were "premium" makes (such as Buick, Oldsmobile, Mercury, or Dodge) with the warning lights mounted on the side and/or on the rear shelf of the passenger compartment. See more »


The mystery driver in the opening scene is driving a '39 or '40 Ford convertible. The shot of it going over the cliff is of a car from the late-1920s or early-1930s. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: An important function of the Highway Patrol is to maintain the safety of the road, to prevent accidents causing injury or death. But not all the fatalities on the highway are accidents, though they may appear to be. During harvest time, the Patrol encountered an accident that started with a driver looking for a hitchhiker.
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User Reviews

Murder for profit
30 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode rings all too true. Maybe because it's a plot device that has been used by other television shows. A migrant fruit picker is found dead and it is first thought to be an accident but is later proved to be murder. Checking into similar recent deaths it is discovered that there are other suspicious deaths and the one thing all the victims had in common other than being migrant workers (and thus wouldn't be missed) is that each had a small insurance policy. Suspicion falls on a violent man who has done jail time for assault. It was interesting that the proof as to whether or not this man was innocent revolved around the fact that he learned to drive in a car with automatic transmission. Probably relatively few people know how to drive a standard shift anymore, something that in the 1950s was - uh, standard. All in all, a pretty good episode with another repeat reminder: "The careless driver isn't driving his car, he's aiming it."

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